Mission: Established in 1968, the University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) brings together faculty and students across the University in interdisciplinary and interdivisional research, teaching, scholarly events, and public engagement related to this vital region of the world.
Since 1976, in consortium with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, CLAS has successfully competed for National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants from the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office of the US Department of Education. The consortium shares a mission to sustain nationally-recognized degree programs, library resources, outreach, and consultative services on Latin America. Much of the programming described below is supported through these grants, in addition to generous endowment and gift support.
Central to our work are our efforts to increase the scope of Latin American engagement at the University across departments, divisions, and professional schools and to facilitate intellectual exchange between our faculty and students—including those in departments without historical ties to the region or the Center—and their Latin American colleagues. Our goal is to cement Chicago’s reputation as a vital crossroads where the most dynamic Latin American thinkers can engage in meaningful collaboration and exchange with colleagues from across the University and around the world.
In fulfillment of our mission, CLAS:
works closely with faculty to support their teaching and research and actively sponsors programs for visiting academics
- CLAS affiliates include more than 50 faculty members who focus at least 25% of their teaching and/or research on the region
- CLAS works with focused research groups, including the Katz Center for Mexican Studies, as well as groups working on Brazilian Studies, Haitian language and culture, and indigenous languages, helping to consolidate resources that promote scholarship in these areas
- CLAS brings prominent professors, practitioners, activists, and writers to teach and conduct research at the University of Chicago through the Tinker Visiting Professorship, which annually brings 3–4 senior scholars and professionals from Latin America and Iberia to teach at the University.
- CLAS hosts visiting scholars and researchers from the region whose areas of expertise intersect with faculty and student interests.
offers interdisciplinary degree programs and certificates
- BA major and minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS)
- LACS BA/MA for highly qualified students in the College
- One-year Master of Arts degree in Latin American and Caribbean Studies
- Dual degree LACS MA/Master of Business Administration with the Booth School of Business
- Dual degree LACS MA/MA in Public Policy with the Harris School of Public Policy Studies
- PhD Certificate in Latin American and Caribbean Studies for doctoral students across divisions that provides documentation of interdisciplinary area studies specialization
funds study/research and provides teaching opportunities for graduate students across divisions and programs
- CLAS funds preliminary field research in Latin America through CLAS Tinker Field Research Grants and dissertation fieldwork through the CLAS Mellon Dissertation Research Travel Fellowship
- CLAS funds the intensive study of the region’s less commonly taught languages and the areas where they are spoken through Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships
- CLAS supports graduate student professional development through the BA preceptorship, Ignacio Martín-Baró Prize Lectureship, Introduction to Latin American Civilizations teaching assistantships, and Tinker Visiting Professor teaching assistantships
promotes interdisciplinary research, education, discussion, and debate around myriad topics relevant to Latin America, through scholarly and public engagement programs
- CLAS facilitates scholarship in all regions and disciplines of Latin America by organizing a regular calendar of academic conferences, lectures, special events, and graduate workshops on campus, working independently and in collaboration with other departments and institutions.
- CLAS cosponsors events organized by UChicago faculty, students/student organizations, and departments—as well as by external academic and cultural institutions
- CLAS provides space and administrative assistance to two graduate student workshops focused on the region: Latin American History Workshop and Workshop on Latin America and the Caribbean
- CLAS sponsors public engagement programs, including professional development workshops for K–16 educators and the Latin American Briefing Series